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About

Working with photographs, text, drawings, collage and projection, I create distilled narratives in books, boxes, films and small installations. These works have often explored themes of home and memory, absence and loss.

After studying Geography at Exeter University and teaching English in Sudan, I worked as an editorial photographer for many years and then as a picture researcher, before wanting to return to the roots of production and a physical relationship with materials. I embarked on formal art training with a foundation course at City Lit, which led me to an MA in Book Arts in 2015 at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. During this time, my practice addressed the slippage between memory and place in artworks that examined what is retained and what is lost in recollections of home.

I have continued to work with themes of presence and absence in the domestic setting in works that reveal the narrative behind familiar objects. The books A Concise History of ChairsFolding Chairs and Chair Stories examine our relationships with chairs and have been variously acquired by Tate, the British Library, Winchester School of Art Library and the V&A National Art Library. My Mother’s Teapots tells a story of family, status and china. A series of short films investigates the cupboard: both container and contents, both real and imagined. And my most recent work, A Catalogue of Disappointment(s), explores the trials and tribulations of printmaking, housekeeping and doing the right thing.

Awards & nominations
2022      What Is Left – That also goes wins second place (Animation) in the Women Over 50 Film Festival.
2021      Chair Stories No 6 shortlisted by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts for the Prix Bob Calle.
2015 Turn the Page Graduate Award.
 
Book fairs & events
2022 Women Over 50 Film Festival.
  Small Publishers Fair, London.
  Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair, Norwich.
  Society of Bookbinders, Book Arts Day, London.
  BABE Artists’ Book Fair, Bristol.
2019 Guest speaker at Contemplating Artists’ Books Now, British Library.
  Small Publishers Fair, London.
  Pages Artists’ Book Fair, Leeds.
  BABE Artists’ Book Fair, Bristol.
2018 Small Publishers Fair, London.
  Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair, Norwich.
  Pages Artists’ Book Fair, Leeds.
2017 Small Publishers Fair, London.
  Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair, Norwich; nominee for the Book Prize.
  BABE Artists’ Book Fair, Bristol.
2016       Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair, Norwich.
2013-15 With Camberwell College of Art:
  Pages Artists’ Book Fair, Leeds.
  Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair, Norwich.
  BABE Artists’ Book Fair, Bristol.
 
Collections

Books are housed in private and public collections, including the Artists Book Collection, Tate Britain; the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum; the British Library; École des Beaux Arts, Paris; the Maryland Institute of Art, USA; Camberwell College of Art Library Artists Book Collection; Winchester School of Art Library Artists Book Collection; New Voices collection at Pages, Leeds.

 
Selected exhibitions
2019    Open Studios, The Chocolate Factory N16.
2018 Open Studios, The Chocolate Factory N16.
  Remind Me To Remember, OpenHand OpenSpace, Reading.
2017 Open Studios, The Chocolate Factory N16.
2016 Open Studios, The Chocolate Factory N16.
2015 The Double Page Spread, Chelsea College of Arts Library, London.
2000 The Garden of England, Photofusion, London.
1997 The Garden of England, Hereford Photography Festival.
1988 Two Families, The Photographers Gallery, London.
1984 Sudan, Photogallery, St Leonards-on-Sea.
1983 Convent Gardens, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.
Caroline Penn, book artist
Caroline Penn, book artist
Caroline Penn, book artist